Harford Tech captures Harford County crown

Harford Tech won the Harford County wrestling championship last night in Bel Air, coming from behind in the finals to edge Fallston, 184.5-179.5.

For Tech coach Gary Siler and his team, the scenario was all too familiar.


"It's no different from what we've been through all year," Siler said. "We're always down until the last couple of rounds, then we come back to win it. We sit back and wait."

The Cobras, whose strength lies in the lighter weight classes, won five of the first eight matches of the finals, then gathered in the corner of the gym to wait for a little help from other teams in the later matches.


Mike Taylor captured the first of Tech's five victories with a 4-3 decision over Drew Beck of Fallston at 112 pounds. Gary Andrzejewski beat Mike Conrad of North Harford, 6-0, at 119. Tommy Conlon got his third pin of the tournament in beating Nick Franchetti of Bel Air at 125.

At 135, Brian Owens scored a major decision over Chad Roland of North Harford, and at 140, James Brown captured the fifth Tech win with a 5-3 decision over Matt Britton of Fallston.

The Cobras' two losses in the finals came at 130, where Dan Beury lost, 7-5, to Bel Air's David Lazzaro, and at 145, where Joppatowne's Phil Parrow got a major decision over Andy Gibson, 9-0.

After Gibson's match, the Cobras conducted their vigil as Fallston wrestlers took the mat for the 152- and 160-pound matches.

At 152, Bel Air's Josh Frankel pulled the upset of the night, handing Fallston's Tony Hughes his first defeat of the season, 3-2. In the next match, Andrew Hugo of C. Milton Wright decisioned Fallston's Rick Howley, 3-1, in overtime.

That sealed the victory for Harford Tech. The championship is the second for Tech and Siler, now in his 13th year as the coach.

"These kids worked hard," said Siler. "They've worked hard all year round, and it's paying off."

Fallston led the team scoring after the quarterfinals but did not fare well in the semifinals, losing seven matches, three by one-point margins.


North Harford, which entered only 10 wrestlers in the tournament, sent five to the finals and crowned two champions to take third place with 130.5 points. The Hawks' Steve Conrad defeated Fallston's Chris Baum, 8-2, at 103, and Matt Edie beat Edgewood's Javance Payne, 5-2, at 275.

Bel Air, the defending champion, placed fourth with victories by Frankel and Tim Kassouf, who pinned John Lawrence of North Harford at 189.

Joppatowne was fifth, and Aberdeen was sixth. Shane Farmer gave Aberdeen a victory at 171 when he pinned Joe Norman of C. M. Wright.